Volunteers reclaim access to lost part of St Albans’ River Ver
18:00 07 February 2016
The efforts of an action group in clearing a footpath has opened up an area which had been inaccessible for years.
On a recent frosty Saturday last month, a 14-strong Ver Valley Society (VVS) Action Group worked on 800 metres of the Frogmore Pits footpath west of the River Ver across the former Lafarge gravel pits between Hyde Lane and Moor Mill.
They removed fallen trees and cut through brambles littering the route and it is now possible to reach part of the Ver south of Hyde Lane where access had been impossible for years.
Last September, members cleared the northern access to the footpath west of the Ver from the A5185 where it crosses the river, to link with the new permissive path created by Tarmac-Lafarge along the river as far as the Hyde Lane footbridge.
Clearing the older permissive path south to Moor Mill means it will now be possible to walk close to the river all the way from Park Sreet to Moor Mill.
Jane Gardiner, chair of the VVS, comments “ We are very grateful to Lafarge-Tarmac for giving us permission to do this work, because the river here is very beautiful and unspoiled and it was such a shame that the public could not access it without a machete.
“Foxes are reported here, we have seen muntjac tracks and badgers are likely to be around. Kingfishers use the river as well as little egrets and herons, and a range of woodland birds such as greater spotted woodpeckers are present.
She added: “In effect, it has become a local nature reserve. Walkers need to be aware that although we have cleared the path to two metres either side and opened up the views of the river, the surface is muddy in parts and boots or wellingtons are advised at this time of year.”
The permissive path is signposted off Ver Valley Walk 8, turning left after crossing the river from Hyde Lane car park and walking south along the side of the Frogmore gravel pit.
From Moor Mill, instead of walking straight on past the works enclosure just north of the M25, and across the open concrete area towards Hyde Lane, turn left round the northern site fence and follow the track across the old bridge.
The signed permissive path starts at the kissing gate to the right of the bridge.
The Ver Valley Walks leaflets can be obtained from the VVS website.